Dev Discussion #20 - NPC Behavior



  • Shoelid wrote: »
    Knives wrote: »
    ...the line between interesting variance and unpredictable annoyance is, when these NPCs randomly start running around. Even worse when they flee into the next NPC group that leaves me with an undesired fight.

    For the normal open world leveling/questing I prefer dump NPCs which I can pull in the hundreds and burst down to loot the needed 20 Quest items fast.

    For special NPCs like rare mobs or the guards of a city or freehold I very much prefer an "unpredictable" NPC that makes killing him more of a challenge.

    I find it interesting that you dislike NPCs fleeing to their allies, pulling in more to the fight. When I think of unpredictability, that's one of the things I like the most. As long as there are specific NPCs that do it (say, humanoid NPCs part of a specific faction) then it's fine, as you can prepare for it. Maybe try and burst them down faster, or keep some CC on deck to account for it.

    What you're saying about dump NPCs vs special NPCs is super on point.

    Shoelid took took the words right out of my mouth. I feel like, from a coding standpoint alone, trying to give every single NPC (even if they're given a group behavior like "peasant" or "guard") fighting mechanics would be a nightmare. And from a fun standpoint, there ARE times I just want to turn off my brain and murder things. Special/rare NPCs, or enemies in a dungeon, or non-player node defenders I can see (and enjoy) being more of a pain. But not every single one every single time.
  • consultantconsultant Member
    edited August 2020
    Would like also to mention that there could be common abilities like enrage. There lots of mobs that could have this ability plus there is a visual in game indicator that tells the player that mob is doing more damage good time to use heal potion or other defensive ability this t would in fact prepare him for raid mechanics.

    Another ability that could be given is dodge. So you are fighting a mob and all the sudden the mob moves to left or right a little and dodges the attack.

    I already mentioned gving mobs the ability to run and having to be cced to kill.

    Just because lots of mobs have an ability does not mean it has to proc all the time. The would just know that certain mobs enrage and he had to be prepared for it if they did.

    Really it is conceivable that with lets say 20 common abilities distributed to the world abroad could have a huge impact on the game.

    So lets say Mobs could hit you for lets say 33 percent of max health that would either make you use a healing potion or possibly kill but that could only happen to you ounce every ten minutes that would not be so bad. This would be enrage I guess. This would break the monotomy of the world and make players be more careful cause had to be ready when mobs used their abilities.

    This would be pretty good. In the open world there are going to be open world dungeouns, events, caravans , opent world pvp, plus the standard MMO things like questing and farming resources and mats. Plus this game is designed to have the population spread out so possibility of running into people is probable. So the open world would still be very immersive and fun.

    But lets say you want to say spend a more time son on a few mobs and give them special abilities. Well then if you put this special mobs in high trafick areas like around dugneoun entrances, travel routes. around battlegrounds then more people would have the oppurtunity to enjoy them , unless it is one of those mobs you have to hunt for (rare mob) of course.
  • This depends on what NPC we're talking about IMO. The easier/more casual content it is, the more variance (within reason) I would like to see.

    Variance makes it less monotonous, but if we're talking about high end fights, I don't want the result of the fight to be determined on how lucky you were with the "mechanics". I don't know yet how the fights will look in AoC, but that's my thought based on other MMO's at least.

    Can still be variance there, but for easier content or open world normal enemies, you could have a ton of variance without a problem, and that would be awesome.
  • nykznykz Member
    Honestly, for quest line and farming areas I prefer stupid ones, I like the braindead farming aspect in some cases.
    Marzzo wrote: »
    If a random quest mob NPC has a stun, please let us be able to dodge it or interrupt it.
    Just don't overdue it with annoying slows, stuns and unstoppable "annoyance" abilities that slow you down too much.

    When it comes to dungeon mobs and bosses complex AI behavior and a little randomness is obviously amazing, as long as it doesnt wipe the whole group/raid because you got "bad rng".
  • KesarakkKesarakk Member, Braver of Worlds, Alpha One
    I've always wanted to fight NPCs that could offer more of a challenge to me due to their mechanics. Several games I've played have always missed this mark. They either buff NPCs to the point where you have to kite them around until you kill them and pray you don't accidentally pull something else, or they add Silence/CC effects.
    Please, Intrepid, please do NOT add Silence or CCs that can't be avoided. Certain fights I can understand, but I would rather be forced to react to an NPC by dodging, rolling, jumping, etc. instead of watching a cast meter to avoid the next Silence spell or interrupt a stun effect.
  • MinkkuMinkku Member
    edited August 2020
    NPC behaviour.

    I am eager to see a world without NPC
  • RatbossRatboss Member
    edited August 2020
    nothing wrong with rolling a dice if the the npcs behavior is like the players
    1.npc(dps) gets low health npc(healer) now wants to throws a heal on him or trys to steal the aggro from the player/ shield said friend
    2. to see npcs all target the same player or avoid tank to kill dps/ healer
    3. maybe an option to pay the npc not to kill you / a toll in a road (quest)?
    4. npc uses illusions to look like A friend of A player on friends list/group when attacked npc changes back to npc form. In a raid/group players have the same tag as the npc and raid/group cant talk so they have to figure out which one befor time runs out. Players of raid/group window hides so u cant target said player.
  • I think more complexity is good, as long as things are clear and telegraphed so players can identify what is happening to react accordingly.
  • I love the idea of randomness. I am also a big fan of them reacting different ways depending on how I act around them. I am referring to friendly NPCs in this way. If I interact with a specific guard or vendor multiple times. Maybe they begin interacting with me in a way that lets me know they are familiar with me. "what do you want this time" or "Nice to see you have returned. same ale as last time?".

    As far as combat NPCs go , I don't mind some randomness if it makes sense. Or things like if I am in a group and a party member gets relatively low. The mobs swap targets to someone who drops below 30% health. As if they have some sort of focus fire now that someone is low. This also though then kind of negates the role of a tank in this situation so probably would not work on all mobs.

    Heroes Fade but Legends last forever

  • MinkkuMinkku Member
    edited August 2020
    What if we all are NPCs in a game
    You´d just turn into a NPC when you log out
  • I've been playing FFXIV for a long time and although I enjoy the boss fights it made me realize one thing:

    Strictly timed mechanics with no room for random behavior makes a battle super boring super fast. Because you know the boss is gonna do his special sword swing in that particular direction when he's at 86% life. If you've done the fight enough times you can fight even the hardest boss in your sleep because you can predict the whole battle from beginning to end.

    The NPC also feels much more alive if he reacts to your actions instead of just following a strict order of behavior.
  • Get a neural network to develop a handful of tactics, delete the cheesy ones and group the rest in broad themes: defensive, aggressive, sneaky, territorial, whatever. Then each NPC could have a random theme.
  • RisingPhoenixRisingPhoenix Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    can you imagine a npc that is smart enough to know what or who it is fighting...thus using skills more likely to make the fight a true bloodrush and not just predictable.
  • JotaroJotaro Member
    edited August 2020
    Less insta kill mechanics as possible and more random mechanics to increase the dps

    Ex: npc one have a extra defense, but after he make a heavy atack he take more dmg for few seconds
  • In my opinion NPC behavior should vary as much as possible (to avoid repeatability and afk farming).

    As a bad example is old lineage catacombs, where mobs just spawned and died instant resulting in afk farming which was not fun at all.

    In lineage 2 awakening the mobs were more active so you barely could afk farming, my expectation from this game is to have even more active mobs so nobody can AFK farm.
  • Unpredictable behavior keeps the encounter feeling fresh longer. Scripted encounters become stale much faster, remove a sense of surprise and the need to adapt, and only servers to remind you that it is a game.

    The unpredictability would discourage addons that reduce encounters to paint-by-number and make it less meaningful to try and compare you performance to others. When the fight is scripted and you've beat it a few times, all that's left is "Well, did we kill it faster than last time or not?" Which is a bit said, to boil a fight down to the duration.

    I have to imagine it is more challenging to build in variability but I think it is a worthy endeavor.
  • GrimmLibertyGrimmLiberty Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    edited August 2020
    I have always wondered why no one takes the best player combatants from arenas, records them fighting, then script their moves into the mobs? I know that is a lot of scripting, but it makes for "flavorful" combat.... Then as combat evolves, so do the mobs....

    Anyhow, I would at least like to see "needs based" actions, like "stun the opponent, run away, and heal".... even when they are not "low" on health, players do that all the time. Buffing and Combos with the aspects for their abilities... etc
  • When Npcs have a predictable pattern we can create better strategies and plans to beat them in an optimal way but they become boring overtime. Fully random behaviors are not fun either, a happy medium could be like " Bears tend to be neutral ( not auto attack when you get close ) during all seasons expect spring. They woke up hungry and you are on the menu"
    " What do you mean a book I cannot have?"
    - Frufire
  • The more dynamic the better! It would make more sense for people to be hunting a specific creature if they go to an "expert" and purchase information on attack patterns or weaknesses.
  • RagnarrokRagnarrok Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    It would be cool to see NPC's level up, meaning have some start out as a young boy or race specific and the NPC evolves into the surroundings it is placed in. Actually have life and death of NPC's thats age specific. Which can become apart of the towns community with parts of questing.
  • TeamVASHTeamVASH Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    i love variety. I love predictable trash and I also love absolutely insanely unpredictable enemies that keep me on my toes. Sometimes nothing better then a super annoying nasty enemy that really makes you work for the win. Getting beat just makes me better. A good game will have something for every occasion and player and skill level :)
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  • Good AI is fine. From a gaming stand point there should be basic expectations.

    A bear generally isn't a tactical genius. So bears would all fight a certain way. A higher level bear could do something the lower level ones don't. Or if a goblin were to ride a bear you could have different tactics.

    There should be a pool of things that a mob can do that matches their lore and setting. Variety in that pool is fine, and would keep people on their toes. Randomize it too much and people wouldn't feel like they're able to learn the encounters.

    Now, if dungeons have multiple levels to descend into that get more difficult as you delve, then this idea would be an interesting challenge.
  • No one has mentioned; mob socialization.

    If you are not aware. Mob socialization occurred when you mob rain away, and got friends (agroing more mobs), usually to many. Causing adds. Sure, you can solo one maybe two, but three or 20?

    This mechanic made sense. You get beat up, your gunna get friends, right? Mobs did this in EQ. You could "train" a whole dungeon, because you pissed off one mob. You beat on my brother, I'm gunna get all our aunts and cousins.

    WoW dummied this feature down, because of the "wipes" these "trains" caused, and we're not popular. Murlocks for example.

    In today's MMORPGs, you don't worry about mob socialization. There is enough space to see and avoid mobs, and mobs just don't socialize.

    Mob social should be a viable tactic for mobs imo, instead of trying to rework a breath weapon a hundred times.
  • The less random it is the more fun it will be.
    It all depends on how much work you wanna put into your npcs, becouse the less random it is and the harder it will be to pragram and design.

    Anyway randomness can be a good thing to use when a npc it is not conditioned by anything and all the choises led to a similar effect ... example: a npc can cast 2 different buffs on him, they have similar power and they influence the fight in the same way , but one can free him from a dot and the second can dispell a debuff on himself. In this case it cannot be random but the npc need to choose the best .. or the worst, following a strategic pattern. Why? Becouse randomness must never lead any character to be more or less powerful just by a roll of dice from the computer. That's bad game design and not fun or strategic.

    Dude you just have all this questions ... i feel you need to hire me at this point xD , you seem to be a lot confused on how the game needs to be. If you want my help i can direct you to a good result.

    The dev questions have the purpose to ask some subjective feedback, personal preferences ... i believe , not how to make a game. :tongue: Anyway i'm more than happy to help you in the process.

    If this world is made by the Goddess i'm the God xD , nice to meet you my little slavs.... devs :smile: .. just kidding xD haha

  • derpderp Member
    I think Monster Hunter was a great example of how NPCs should react. YES there should be tactics baked in to the NPC, but the ability for them to respond to their environment, and even other NPCs is something that takes combat to another level. Think D&D and "Lair Actions".
  • Just as a freindly reminder it is great for mobs to have abilities even if it just some of them, but one of the things that makes mobs more interesting or worthwhile is loot. So if have a 20 lets say wolf meat and they normally sell for 25 gold at the auction then that comes otu to 500 gold. Maybe not a whole lot but makes killing mobs worthwhile. Now 500 gold may not sound like a lot of gold but in MMOs thing kind of just add up over time.

    This is a little off topic but be pretty cool if average price of item at auction house was known. Lots of players vendor loot to the game and well loose oppurtunity to make little extra gold.
  • MaximillianMaximillian Member
    edited September 2020
    I introduced myself and said I'd put it here so I apologize if this is the wrong thread. I play FFXIV, I played SWTOR, GW2, Rift (didn't play wow, sorry). All tab target mmos and all great in their own right. Not here to bash on or gloat about other games.
    They all have one thing in common which makes for less engaging and more tank and spank fights. Build a bruiser and kill or be killed. Every other build will have a much harder time soloing mobs that are of a higher lvl or even an elite mob. I can give a more extreme example in runescape but I think that's probably pushing it.
    I'm talking about mobs having auto attacks inbetween their mechanics that cannot be dodged in any way, melee and range.
    Simply put, you see melee attack is coming, you step/dodge/roll out of its melee range? In FFXIV, it'll hit you no matter what. Line of sight might interrupt their attacks for a little bit, soft/hard cc might stop it for 5s, but then your cc is on cooldown and it starts bashing on you again. Kiting it without cc is impossible because the mobs just run you down unless you have something that greatly increases your movespeed.
    Ranged is basically the same, just with a greater range. All projectiles are "homing" if you catch my meaning. There's no sidestepping one if you see the mob preparing it. It's just damage added on top of the possible mechanics that particular mob might have and there's no way for you to take on a mob without taking ANY damage whatsoever. Which then also makes it impossible for you to even attempt taking on higher lvl mobs because of defense difference. (At least solo, most of this is from a solo perspective, I like wandering around, finding a cool elite mob and try to take it down.)
    It's a design choice and from the latest stream and little combat that has been shared, it looked like the mobs will have these kinds of undodgeable auto attacks. Allthough there wasn't much to see yet. We also saw evasion and blocking pop up every now and again which also takes away from active evading or blocking. But on the other hand, there was a dodge roll right there (with or without an i-frame, doesn't matter) and the fact that our own auto attack isn't actually an auto but you have to actively push a buttons and it has a cone of attack we have to at least aim ouselves tells me that implementing this for mobs is very doable too?

    This example may give me flack but I played the recent preview for New World and for all the things it lacked or did wrong. I really did enjoy the combat (allthough it still being very clunky and in need of a lot of polish) for this particular reason. Look at the mob, dodge or block what is coming, even just by walking or running, and attack accordingly. I think this can be done even with a tab target system. It's not because our arrows are "homing" that theirs have to be, right?

    TLDR. It's a design choice but as a player that likes active combat and plays FFXIV at the same time, don't add undodgeable attacks to mobs, may they be literal mechanics that can possibly slow, stun or stagger you, or just plain old damaging auto attacks that will hit you no matter how far out of melee range you run or walk or no matter how much you try dodge rolling that arrow that's coming for you. (Assuming you don't have that i-frame (GW2) and/or cannot dodge roll forever due to limited stamina). At least not to normal mobs that are possibly soloable. Even I'm not stupid enough to see a dragon 10 times my size and "wonder if I could kill it".
    A good example of what I would like to see is New World from an NPC perspective. A bad example is FFXIV.
  • MaximillianMaximillian Member
    edited September 2020
    Another fun thing as NPC behaviour, as a suggestion, fairly basic, is having them aggro based on sound, sight, touch/proximity. As opposed to most mobs being just proximity. I've never actually looked at this from a rogue perspective and stealthing. But I think a lot of the time this is just an anti-detection button rather then being "invisible". If you sprint while invisible, some mobs might still be able to detect you through, I dunno, echolocation or whatever.
    Methods of Detection

    Enemies that aggro rely on one or several "senses" of detection, depending on enemy and type of enemy. What each enemy aggros to is typically noted within each Bestiary entry on this Wiki.

    Possible methods of detection are as follows:

    Sight: The enemy will detect you if you are within 15 yalms, inside the enemy's "field of vision," and not Invisible.

    This "field of vision" is approximately 60-75 degrees from the direct front of the enemy, and can be avoided by walking around or behind the field (and the enemy itself).
    The faint inner circle on the radar is at about 15 yalms.

    Sound: The enemy will detect you if you are within 8 yalms of it and not Sneaked.

    Sound aggro is detected in a circular radius from the center of the enemy's model. As such, walking behind the enemy will not avoid aggro to sound.
    The Ninja Job Trait Stealth and the Ranger Job Trait Alertness can occasionally reduce detection to sound-aggroing enemies.

    Magic: The enemy will detect you if magic is cast within 20 yalms of it (counted from where you are standing; the position of the target does not matter).

    Magic aggro is detected in a circular radius from the center of the enemy's model.
    Spells that do not cost MP will not cause magic aggro. As such, Ninjutsu and Bard songs are safe to use.
    The outer circle on the (non-Ninja) radar is at about 20 yalms.

    Ability: The enemy will detect you if you use a Job Ability or Weapon Skill within 20 yalms of it.

    Ability aggro is detected in a circular radius from the center of the enemy's model.
    At the moment, only certain monster families from Aht Urhgan regions exhibit this behavior.

    Low HP/"Blood": The enemy will detect you if your HP color is yellow, orange, or red while within 20 yalms of it.

    Blood aggro is detected in a circular radius from the center of the enemy's model.

    True Sight: A version of Sight aggro that ignores Invisible status. (All other conditions of Sight aggro will apply.)

    True Sound: A version of Sound aggro that ignores Sneak status. (All other conditions of Sound aggro will apply.)

    Sleeping Non-Aggro: Some mobs in Treasures of Aht Urhgan and Abyssea areas are Diurnal or Nocturnal, and will therefore occasionally be sleeping. The "Zzz"s floating from their heads indicate that they will not aggro until they are awoken (either because they are attacked or because the clock changes to their "awake" time). Unlike normal Sleep, any type of aggressive action will cause them to awaken from this type of sleep, even if it does not deal any damage.

    Spawned Monsters: Many spawned monsters will immediately attack the person who caused the monster to spawn. In some cases, it may be possible to spawn the monster(s) with a Sneak effect up and cause the monster(s) to spawn passive (not aggressive). (Spawning monsters with an Invisible effect up is generally impossible because it prevents you from examining/trading to ???s or similar points.)

    In nearly all cases, even if a monster is within range to be aggroed, aggro can be prevented by positioning yourself behind a wall or some other type of solid terrain, such that there is no clear unobstructed line between you and the mob (or the mob's line of sight, in the case of sight aggro). In other words, even if a magic aggro mob is 10' away from you, as long as you are behind a solid obstruction, you may still cast without aggro. Note however, that doors or gates (such as the Banishing Gates in Garlaige Citadel) do not count as valid obstructions -- mobs can see and aggro right through such objects as if they were not there. Furthermore, solid obstructions will not prevent magic aggro from True Sight and True Hearing enemies such as the Soulflayer.
    Methods of Pursuit

    Many enemies pursue their target (in addition to their detection methods) using Scent. It is possible to "lose" aggro on these types of enemies if the player Deodorizes him or herself while he or she is out of the enemy's widest detection range. If aggro was successfully lost, the enemy will give up chasing the player at the point where Deodorize was applied.

    Water element (Rain) weather and walking through bodies of water will have a similar effect to that of Deodorize.
    Firstly, I apologize for merely copying and pasting information from another game's Wiki, but FFXI has the most exhaustive aggro system in an MMO or any game I've ever seen. Adopting even half of what this system entails is better than the majority of games. The page linked goes into further details on level ranges.

    I'd like to see mobs in different regions having a more common aggro type, like mobs in the underrealm predominantly using sound for aggro and possessing a poor or absent sight aggro capability. Perhaps Bards could have group sound negating sneak songs, or Rogues have invis but with a Bard secondary can create an obscuring cloud for the group--and those are just a couple obvious possibilities.
  • I hope that the combat system that we have seen so far is not the final one. I mean static, boring combat consists in spamming skills like WoW.

    I would like to see enemies that dodge, defend themselves, fight back like in New World Amazon's game.

    In short, I would like to see a challenging combat system, an AI with many mechanics and whose difficulty forces you to generate strategies, that is, to use your brain.
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